Computers & Software

The Rig

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I guess my home system deserves separate page, considering all the use it gets and the joy it brings :) And I don't mean only gaming here. I do quite a bit of work and most the site development on it. Plus a lot of multimedia editing. Haven't updated this place for a long time. New rig, or comp upgrades are about once every 6 month...
Still watercooling, because WC rocks :)

Current Rig:
  • CPU - Intel Core I7-3930K 3.2ghz Ghz, LGA 2011; Octacore CPU, overclocked @ 4.7 Ghz. Temps, less than 40° under load.
  • Motherboard - Asus Rampage IV Extreme X79 Chipset, and after 3 replacements, I got one to recognize all 24Gb ram :) And no, replacing mobos, especially on watercooled rigs is no fun.
  • DDRAM - Corsair Dominator DDR3 PC16000 - 24gb.
  • Video - ASUS ROG MATRIX Radeon HD 7970 Platinum crossfire with ATI Saphire Radeon HD 7970.
  • Monitor Primary - Dell U3011FPW 30" widescreen LCD
  • Monitor Seconday - Dell 2405FPW 24" widescreen LCD
  • Hard drives - Primary - OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SATA III 2.5" SSD, secondary - Seagate 1tb
  • BD/DVD RW - Lieon BD writer, with lightscribe, which I never use...
  • Speakers - Klipsch Promedia GMX A-2.1. Subwoofer 50 watts + 2 satellite speakers, total 78 watts. Very nice.
  • Case - Corsair Obsidian 800D.
  • PSU - Silent Pro Gold 1200W Modular.
  • CPU Waterblock - Heatkiller Rev 3.0
  • GPU Waterblock - EK(both)
  • Water Pump - Dual Swiftech MCP-650 sitting on the EK D5 Dual CSQ Pump Top Acetal.
  • Reservoir - XSPC 5.25 Inch Bay.
  • Phobya G-Changer Ver. 1.2 360mm Radiator - Black. Using 3 Noctua fans.

Planned upgrades:

  • SSD Stripe RAID for system disk, waiting for OCZ RMA to get the replacement SSD, one of the two arrived DOA. Second 1tb drive for mirroring the other seagate.

Building Your Own Custom Rig - If you are up to the challenge, have time and nerves for it, then it is well worth it. Especially once you are done with all that. It will save you the money(well I do manage to spend more than 1000$ per upgrade), and you'll have exactly what you wanted, most likely outperforming comparable systems from vendors such as Dell, IBM, Gateway, etc. However during the build... Few advices from my own experience.
    First of all go and check on the internet how to build the system if you haven't done so. I've had considerable hardware experience, nevertheless I needed help few times. On the net you'll find everything, instructions how to build the system from the scratch, all sorts of reviews what's good and what's not, overclocking guides if you decide to go that way, cheaper prices, incorrect info, and so on. Therefore, do your homework, otherwise it'll cost you more and probably will not work, or won't work as it should.
    Next, you order the parts. Try to get things from the same online store. Don't jump on something just because it's cheaper at another store by few $, most likely shipping will be extra anyways. Read on the net about the online store you're gonna deal with. I've had bad experience with parts bought from long ago. So did my friend few days later. Could've been avoided had I spent more time researching the sellers.
    Be prepared that some parts may be defective and you have to return them, wait for the replacement, etc... Good luck.
    There are a bunch of the hardware forums to help you out with building your system, installing soft, configuring hardware and software. I prefer SharkyForums, but there's a lot more out there, just look.

To overclock or not to - That is the question. In short, just like with building your system from the scratch, if you have time and nerves(again!), go for it. You'll get faster system once you figure out the right parameters. It took me around a week to tweak and test my first custom build system until I got it stable. For now I'm running 3.2ghz chip at 4.7ghz, quite a boost :). Difference is noticeable not only in various benchmarks, but also while I am working with the programs I use every day. Especially multimedia editing. One thing is if you have problems with noise then overclocking is a questionable option. Overclocked hardware generates more heat, hence the need of extra, more powerful fans, and those are real noisy as usual. Vantec Tornado that I used was comparable to small industrial vacuum cleaner at 5000 rpm :) Of course you can spend more money and go with water cooling, which is far more effective and more silent, but not completely. Anyway, read on the net, and decide for yourself.